For the sake of savings, many homeowners do without the services of an architect when they can. In addition to the fact that this professional can provide you with useful expertise, including in the context of an expansion or development project, the law does not leave you the luxury of choosing in certain situations anyway.
A reinforced obligation of recourse
The profession has obtained a boost from the government through the law of July 7, 2016 on the freedom of creation, architecture and heritage. This reform came to strengthen the use of an architect by lowering the existing ceilings.
Previously, the Town Planning Code made the presence of this building professional compulsory when the building permit application concerned “work on existing construction leading either to the floor area or the footprint of the whole to exceed the ceiling of 170 m2 ”(or 800 m2 for an agricultural construction). But since March 1, 2017, the law has reduced this ceiling to 150 m2 of floor space. As soon as the expansion of your house or your new construction reaches this threshold, you must therefore resort to an architect.
To your calculators
It is still necessary to know how to perform this calculation. Nothing complicated, at first glance, since it involves adding the floor areas of each closed and covered level of the home. Except that the latter are calculated “from the interior bare of the facades” after deduction of a certain number of works.
You must first subtract the thickness of the walls surrounding the embrasures of the doors and windows leading to the exterior, as well as the voids and hoppers that attach to the stairs and elevators. Floor areas corresponding to the garage, the attic that cannot be converted, the cellar, the storeroom, any annex to the accommodation served only by a common part, or even the technical rooms are also excluded. Finally, the sub-slopes with a ceiling height less than or equal to 1.80 meters are also set aside.
You can get free advice from an architect from the Urban Planning and Environment Architecture Council (CAUE) or from the town planning department of your municipality. A calculation help sheet is also available on the Service-public.fr site.
Guaranteed added value
The remuneration of an architect varies between 8 and 12% excluding tax of the cost of the work. Note that this additional cost can be amortized quickly since this professional is responsible for coordinating the works and negotiating the prices of the speakers.
According to a Senate information report from 2014, “the costs per square meter of some houses made by architects are in a range very close to the average price of individual builder houses, around 1,500 euros per square meter”. Not to mention that the mention “architect’s house” brings additional added value in the event of resale.